Stellenbosch University produces PPE and medical robot

At the university, several notable efforts have gone into the production of personal protective equipment, innovative tools for patient management and treatment therapies. For instance, the 3D printing laboratory of the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery at Stellenbosch University has been repurposed to print and assemble much-needed visors for front-line workers. Also, food scientists made 18 litres of alcohol-based hand sanitiser from stale bread crumbs in an in-house fermentation tank.

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University of Ghana sequences COVID-19 Genome in Ghana

At the University of Ghana, scientists have successfully sequenced the genomes of the coronavirus in Ghana. The feat, which was achieved through the collaborative effort of scientists from the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) and the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), represents an important milestone in understanding the variations of the virus and has already been shared on the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID) database. The Noguchi Memorial Institute, which is one of the two facilities initially designated for testing the Coronavirus remains Ghana’s primary testing facility for all suspected COVID-19 cases, accounting for over 80 percent of tests nationally. The University of Ghana also has a new 617-bed medical facility which has been designated as one of the COVID-19 care centres in Ghana.

University of Dar es Salaam develops Automatic Hand Washing Machine

The University of Dar Es Salaam has gone into the mass production of automatic handwashing machines following work done a final year Electrical Engineering Coet in 2019. The University is also reported to be in the final stages of obtaining approval for the mass production of hand sanitizers and masks while multi-disciplinary research on the efficacy of traditional medicine for treatment is also underway.

University of Nairobi leads COVID-19 Testing in Kenya

The University of Nairobi has been selected to play a leading role following the selection of Kenya, the WHO as a testing site for vaccine trials. A team of virus specialists from the University constitute a National Task Force. Also, to support public education on the pandemic, the University has initiated a public blog and Webinar Series on COVID-19 which highlight preventive measures and offer options to deal with various COVID-19 related social challenges.

Makerere University produces Ventilators and Tents

The Makerere University is engaging on several fronts regarding the provision of medical equipment, test kits and personal protective equipment. For instance, the School of Public Health at the University of Makerere is collaborating with the Kiira Motors Corporation and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) under the Resilient Africa Network (RAN) Project to develop Open Design Low-Cost Ventilators to meet local demand. Already, engineering tests for the device, which will cost less than a third of the market price of imported ventilators, have been completed successfully and if animal-tests are successful, application to patients can commence. Uunder the same RAN project, large scale production of Epidemic Management Tent (EpiTent) has begun. The low-cost tents, which are accredited by the WHO and USAID, have a capacity of 50 patients and will be used to isolate COVID-19 patients.

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